New Jersey ends COVID-19 testing requirement for unvaccinated school, day care workers

Change will apply to school districts and child care settings immediately, and to state contractors as of September 1

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Monday, August 15, 2022
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New Jersey has lifted the requirement that unvaccinated workers in school districts and child care settings undergo routine COVID-19 testing. Darla Miles has the story.

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Monday signed an executive order lifting the requirement that unvaccinated workers in school districts and child care settings, as well as state contractors, undergo routine COVID-19 testing.

The change will apply to school districts and child care settings immediately, and to state contractors as of September 1.

The ending of the testing mandate comes after recent updates to COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC in advance of the upcoming school year.

"Today's executive order follows guidance from public health officials at the CDC regarding responsible steps states can take as we continue to adjust to the endemic reality of COVID-19," Murphy said. "With children as young as 6 months old now eligible for vaccines and millions of New Jerseyans vaccinated and boosted, more of our residents are safe from severe illness due to COVID-19. As always, I encourage everyone to stay up-to-date on their vaccination and take other precautions as necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones from this virus."

As of June 17, 2022, anyone aged 6 months or older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

As of Monday, more than 18.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in New Jersey, with more than 1.9 million doses having been administered to children under the age of 18.

The executive order lifts the testing requirements put into place for school districts, child care settings, and state contractors via previous executive orders.

Nothing in the new executive order prevents these settings from maintaining a vaccination or testing policy as they see fit going forward.

Schools and child care facilities will still be required to report vaccination and testing data to the Department of Health to allow the state to continue to monitor COVID-19 and make data-driven decisions to keep residents safe.

Covered workers in congregate care, health care, and correctional facility settings will still be required to be up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, including the first booster dose, as per prior executive orders.

Separate of the new executive order, the New Jersey state employee testing program will also come to an end on September 1.

The president NJEA released the following statement:

"Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Gov. Murphy has followed public health guidance to keep our schools safe and functioning. This decision to end mandatory screening tests for unvaccinated individuals, which follows the latest CDC guidance, is another encouraging step back toward normalcy. We will continue to advocate for policies that keep students and staff safe as we return to school buildings for another school year."

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